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Ghost pipe fish - How many please ......!!
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Thread: Ghost pipe fish - How many please ......!!

  1. #1

    Default Ghost pipe fish - How many please ......!!

    Please could forum members let me know what was the maximum number of ghost pipe fish that you have seen on a dive site/1 dive, and which species/colours they were.

    I live in Davao where we have a dive site where there are more than 50 recorded gpf (ornate, harlequin and robust). You can see minimum 15 and maximum around 30 on one dive (due to air/time restrictions).

    The same site has 7 known frogfish, 3 fans with health pygmy seahorse colonies, full sized seahorse, many species of snake eel, plenty of nudibranch (including melibe mirifica/wondorous melibe), most species of scorpionfish and lionfish, lots of cleaning stations, etc.

    I have never dived a site as good as this before in my life (Philippines, Thailand or Indonesia).

    As yet the site is not known outside Davao, but is dived by local divers.

    Very interested to know if there is another site as good as this in the Philippines. Please don't forget those gpf numbers......

    Mny thanks for your help.

    WWD

  2. #2
    Diver / Poi Enthusiast santelmo's Avatar
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    try diving in Tubbataha, Apo Reef, Dumaguete, Malapascua.... those are some of the most popular dive destinations apart from Verde Island and Anilao in Batangas. although i have not seen a gpf yet...i need to dive more...

  3. #3

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    I have dived Bohol, Dumaguete (Dauin and Apo Isl), Malapscua, Coron and many other places here in this area (South Mindanao).

    Thing is, we have never seen a site in any other place quite like the one we have here.

    This includes Thailand and Sulawesi.

    Just trying to establish if it one of the best undiscovered macro sites in the World, which we think that it is.

    WWD

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    Default Name of Davao Site?

    Hi WWD,

    I just saw this discussion thread. I dove Davao every weekend for 2 months a long time ago, and I never got to see areas rich in macro life, closest, most diverse site was Oandanao (not sure if I spelled it right) Sanctuary.

    I'm very much interested to know where this site is. Next time i go home to Davao, I'd like to check the site out.

    I usually dive in Anilao. I've also gone to PG, Dumaguete, Malapascua, Bohol, etc.. There were 2 sites that I had seen the most number of Ghost Pipefishes: the runner-up site is called Basura in Anilao, Batangas. True to its name, the site didn't have much in the way of corals, it's mostly silty bottom, some grassy beds, and lots of trash. There used to be an area at about 15ft that had a rubber tire exterior near a shell of a refrigerator. There used to be 4-7 ornate ghost pipefishes there of varying ages: from juvenile to adult.

    However, after a long hiatus from Basura, I dove there again a few weeks ago, I found the site very much changed. I can no longer locate the tire and refrigerator area, the grassy area has extended, and there is a part that seemed "infested" with a black=colored algae-looking coating that made it look scorched. They planted various types of corals in parts of the sandy bottoms, and they seemed to have taken hold. But the ghost ornate pipefishes and thorny seahorses where nowhere to be found. :-( I have yet to ask other divers who are regulars of that site, if those still live there.

    The winner for me is night diving at Sabang Wreck, in Puerto Galera, Mindoro. It's one of the most fun muck diving place in the Batangas-Mindoro area, we could spend all night there, practically. There is a wooden wreck at about 60ft of water, near it a steel wreck and then shortly afterwards, another wreck. All have been scuttled there to serve as fish habitats, in an otherwise silty, sandy bottom. As you go shallower, you have the occasional coral heads, some sea grass beds, and more patches of coral.

    Around the 2nd and 3rd wrecks, we see about 4-7 ornate ghost pipefishes, some are juvenile, 2 types of colors among the adults. Nearby, still out in the sandy area, we see 2 robust ghost pipefish. Then at the shallow grassy area, we saw a long leathery pipefish. But along with that, we'd see snake eels, stargazers, various cuttlefishes and squids, feeding octopi, spanish dancers, sea hares, walking devilfishes, frogfishes, you practically will lose count of all the variety of stuff you see in one dive! (Oh, there are also pygmy seahorses, but they are off in the seaward direction, at the drop-off, they're at around 80-100ft.

    I've yet to dive Lembeh, but this is one of the closest to it, I think.. what I like here is the great variety of life you see in one dive alone, unlike in some of the muck diving places in the country where you have to surface and go to another site to see other species: it's pretty much a few species known to be in each site.

    Still, I have yet to see as many ghost pipefishes and pygmy seahorses in one dive as you mentioned and I can't believe it's in Davao! I'm very curious to know where it is, and excited to check it out.

    Lastly, I heard from someone that there is a "secret" place in Davao where a mola-mola was seen. I don't know if it was a regular sighting or a chance one. I also have no idea where in Davao it is. Have you heard anything about it?

    Cheers and happy diving!
    Bafinky

  5. #5
    SMN Publisher The Publisher's Avatar
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    Bafinky,

    Ornate ghost pipefish are somewhat seasonal. I have done many dives at Sabang wrecks and have only seen one ornate ghost pipefish there, while I have seen many at Basura in Anilao.

    I have never seen Coleman shrimp in Sabang after over 150 dives yet I have seen half a dozen at Basura.

    I agree, Sabang wrecks is a great critter dive!

    WWD told me that the best time when Ornate ghost pipefish arrive is February and March for mating season.
    SMN Publisher

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    Oh, I'll make sure to dive Basura in that time frame then! That explains the Sabang GPF sightings, which were around the first week of April.

    I've been wanting to find Coleman shrimps in my last Basura dive! Instead, I found all kinds of shrimp including a weird one that seemed related to a mantis shrimp but it was a textured, brownish color. Where do you see them? Shallow? We spent most of our time in about 10ft of water, because we just saw too many stuff that we hardly got past that area. (There were 2 tiny baby critters that we at first thought were baby robust ghostpipefishes, but upon close examination of the photographs afterwards, they look like they were baby razorfishes.)

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    The Coleman shrimp at the Basura site can only be found on the tops of fire urchins. When I looked at fire urchins, they were on about 1 out of every 15 fire urchins. We were in water about 30-60 feet deep.

    The only time I have seen an ornate ghost pipefish in Sabang is at Sabang Wrecks site. The middle wreck, the sailboat laying on its side has a large sea fan on the left side of the boat. In that seafan was an ornate ghost pipefish, but there are usually a half dozen other small clear shrimp on it.

    I think the moral of the story is every time I have been diving in Puerto Galera has been out of season for ornate ghost pipefish, whereas when I was in Anilao, they were in season.
    SMN Publisher

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    Thanks so much for the tip on finding the Coleman shrimps in Basura! I'll make sure I get to dive there when I get back to Manila.

    I'm still in Davao, obsessing about those ghost pipefishes mentioned by WWD and frogfishes someone else mentioned in another forum. Too bad I didn't bring my gear!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  9. #9
    Registered Users Brutus's Avatar
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    Default Ghost Pipe Fish

    Me and my wife dove the Kyokuzan Maru in Dimaquiat Coron, Palawan last March 2009 and we saw several white ghost pipe fishes there.
    The ship is intact and is about 140m in length which has become a reef itself. It was sank in Sep 1944 by American forces.

    Below is the picture of one ghost pipe fish we saw at the deck of the ship at a depth of 102ft.


    Last edited by Brutus; 03-10-2009 at 12:02 PM.

  10. #10
    Registered Users Brutus's Avatar
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    Default Ghost pipefish

    Other picture of another ghost pipefish at the at the Kyokuzan Maru wreck


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